Monday, June 12, 2006

IHOP outta milk

Driving south from Birmingham, Ala., yesterday, on the way home to Brazosport, I started thinking about my next meal.

Pancakes, bacon and an ice cold glass of milk, I decided.

Hundreds of miles rolled beneath the van, and I was thinking pancakes, bacon and a ice cold glass of milk.

Down through Meridien, Laurel and Hattiesburg. Pancakes, bacon, milk.

Past Picayune and across the Louisiana line.

Pulled into Slidell.

An International House of Pancakes!

Not as a good as Crackerbarrel, but OK in a pinch.

I ordered a stack of buttermilk pancakes, four slices of "thick-cut" bacon and a large glass of ice cold milk.

Waitress takes the order. Five minutes later, she returns to say they're out of milk.

It's 3 in the afternoon on a Sunday.

"Well that sucks," I said.

She did not respond.

I ate my pancakes and bacon and had a cup of shitty coffee. I ate fast, real fast, because I was angry.

I went up to the cashier.

A cute young girl asked me, in her best-trained IHOP voice, "Did you enjoy your meal?"

"No, not really," I said. "You're out of milk."

"I'm sorry," she said, her voice softer and her bottom lip drawing lower, as if to frown to express her disappointment at my displeasure.

She offered nothing else.

This prompted me to say, "Did it occur to anyone here to go to a grocery store and buy some milk. Are the stores open today?"

"No," she said.

"The grocery stores aren't open today?"

"Well, yes, they're open. But we have to order our milk special. I think."

"That doesn't make any sense," I said.

She gave me back my change from a 20.

A $10 bill and some change.

I had been thinking, well maybe I'll leave a tip and maybe I won't. But when she gave me the single 10 back (and no ones) that sealed it.

No tip.

No milk for me, no tip for you.

That's the way it goes.

I know that may sound harsh to some of you, but that's just the way I was feeling. Fug it!


Frank Brigandi said...

IHOP is tremendous.

Miriam said...

Like a day without sunshine. Or something.

Duardo said...

Pancakes and milk on Sunday afternoon? Seems to me a guy named Banjo Jones would maybe have a croissant with his morning beer, but certainly no milk. Banjo is a wildcatter, a womanizing roustabout, a hard-as-nails, snap-button shirt cowpoke, a gravel- voiced backup singer for Elvis! But never a drinker of anything as mainstream as milk. And, yeah, Banjo would never tip anyone except an ambulance attendant.

Anonymous said...

I bet you would have given that ten spot for a tall glass of ice cold milk to go with them pancakes.


JD Allen said...

Don't pancakes require milk in the batter? Good ones, anyhow. I tried one of those mixes that use water years ago - once.

Maybe they used it all to make their batter. Yeah, that's it.

equarles said...

I was at Mi Tierra restaurant in San Antonio on Sunday night. They were out of salsa. Well, at least the red salsa. They brought us something horrible instead. Black, looked like salsa, but not so good.
A Mexican restaurant without salsa is like IHOP without milk.

Bill said...

And the rest of the story? Did you go across the street to the Piggly Wiggly and buy some milk with your $10 change? Inquiring minds want to know!

Banjo Jones said...

guess it's buttermilk in the pancakes, j.d.

i didn't seek out a grocery store, bill. i simply drove all the way home seething in silence. but rest assured, the people at IHOP are going on the list. you probably have one of those lists, right? names, dates, and grievances. i'm going to publish mine in a book someday. it'll have to be a vanity press publisher, i guess, but if you care about Banjo, you'd buy his book of grievances.